Print Laughs at Digital: IKEA BookBook’s Brilliant Campaign

When IKEA launched its 2015 catalogue, the company took a daring approach mocking digital technology in general, and Apple’s iPad in particular. Branding the new catalog as a BookBook, IKEA launched a viral campaign through a well done YouTube video backed up by a dedicated page on their web site.IKEA_Book_Book_YouTubeIKEA_Book_Book_web

The campaign received such great reviews that it also took a life of its own on Twitter and Pinterest. In addition, it was reported in several technology, marketing and business online publications which were praising the brilliance of this campaign.

Titled Experience the power of a bookbook™, the video is 2 min 28 sec long. At the beginning, a candid Scandinavian fellow nicely introduces IKEA’s 2015 catalog, not as digital nor as a link but as a BookBook.  Then he continues by describing the catalogue’s unique features, calling upon IKEA’s well-known installation icons complemented by hand instructions while mimicking Apple’s iPad commercials. You can’t resist when he says: Amazing with a big smile. I wish he said “Awesome!” because this definitely applies to their approach.

The script is very clever too. They managed to integrate terminology from the digital world referring to consumer behavior with tablets whereas the camera shows a printed catalogue from beginning to end. The beauty of it is that it applies to print perfectly well. The storytelling keeps you interested throughout: having the same Scandinavian fellow telling the story with his “innocent” smile and very expressive eyes can’t help but to make you smile.

To add insult to injury, IKEA made full use of digital platforms to praise virtues of a traditionally printed catalogue. They clearly demonstrate that even if we are now fully formatted to browse catalogs digitally, in essence, our behavior is identical in the real world, using a printed book and enjoying holding something real in our hands!

No wonder why they already cumulated over 13.7 million views.

Beyond the promotion of their new catalogue, this IKEA campaign teaches us that traditional media still plays an important role in our lives. As marketers, we need to see how each medium can deliver the most value to reach our corporate or sales objectives. In any case, the quality of the storytelling remains the key factor to make a campaign successful, whether it is digital or printed. Experience the power of a bookbook relies on simple but well-chosen visuals as well as a very solid script. No frills, no special effects, just a great story. Kudos to IKEA!

By Karina B.

7 thoughts on “Print Laughs at Digital: IKEA BookBook’s Brilliant Campaign

  1. Julie

    I found this to be an excellent choice of topic, well-handled. The campaign is so funny and well-done that I wanted to know more about it. You did not disappoint! The message that nothing beats good old storytelling is inspiring.


  2. Marie-Noëlle

    You can always trust Ikea to come up with the coolest and wittiest advertising contest. We expect them to be bold, but I thought this campaign was one of their best ones. To mock our overreliance on digital devices while leveraging it at the same time to promote the catalogue is absolutely brilliant.


  3. Victor Guerra


    This sarcastic campaign is as simple as Apple’s products!
    It makes good use of a simple concept: Comparison between the digital and the physical book (or should I say “world”?).

    In this way, they take advantage that we people like to confront modern vs traditional; and we love controversies.

    Nevertheless, as a marketer, I believe it is as useless as to debate which is better: radio or newspaper? At the end, there is room enough for different medias, as IKEA has demonstrated once again! Thanks Karina for this post!


  4. Maryam Nikoopour

    I totally agree with you that “this IKEA campaign teaches us that traditional media still plays an important role in our lives.” Not only this bookbook thing, but I find 6 to 9 page brochure from IKEA in my postbox every week and despite the fact that I’m the one who throws away all the advertising stuffs before reading, I keep the IKEA one to take a look even if I don’t need anything!
    This shows that IKEA has been very successful in its design and approach.


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